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Acts Reading Plan | Week 9 | Day 2
In John 1:12 it says, “.. to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” God has invited you into His family, to be his child. Pause and reflect on that. Ask your Heavenly Father to guide you as you spend time with Him today.
Bible Reading: Acts 10:34-48
Read these verses three times slowly.
Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.
“We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.
Then Peter said, “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.
Reflection & Questions
It’s a fantastic scene. Here’s a devout Jew (Peter) in the house of a Gentile (Cornelius) and not just any Gentile. Cornelius is a Roman centurion, who’s empire has oppressed the Jews for a generation. There are so many boundaries between these two men – so many reasons why this gathering shouldn’t have happened. But it is just the kind of thing that God loves to do. He breaks down barriers. Notice how Peter refers to that in several ways in his speech. He says: “God does not show favoritism”, “accepts from every nation”, and His forgiveness is for “everyone who believes.” And the beautiful confirmation of the boundaries being torn down is the Holy Spirit coming upon the newly converted people in Cornelius’ house. The Romans are praising Jesus. That is awesome.
Peter declares: “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water.” When God’s at work, boundaries fall and no one can stand in the way. God creates new families, brothers and sisters from different mothers. Very different people, very different backgrounds, but one new family, with one Heavenly Father.
- Are there people or types of people to whom you show more favor than others? Why? How would Peter counsel you?
- A challenge: At the next weekend service you attend, strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know who has a different background than you.
Ask God to search your heart for any ways you might be showing favoritism. Listen and confess. Thank Him for his grace and that He welcomes everyone who believes!
You might use this song today to worship Jesus today:
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